Sold out show.
25,000 pounds didn't cut it so the Zatarain's brain trust went to their reserve and pulled an extra ton of crawfish out of somewhere (car trunk?) and it too was summarily devoured.
Then things got ugly.
We had a great time at the World's Largest Crawfish boil held in the shadow of the Superdome on Champion's Square, a mere 40 blocks from 925 Valmont Street where Emile A. Zatarain, Sr. founded his company way back in 1889-but we got there early and got down to business before the hordes arrived.
Under cloudy skies with a few fat rain drops occasionally tumbling out of the sky, we hunkered down on a cement bench and got busy eating our allotment of six pounds of good crawdads. As we loaded up the shells in an umbrella sleeve (for a scratch stock) we noted that folks were walking towards the exit fuming.
One man is livid. "I paid fucking $15 to park and they ain't got no crawfish!" he bellowed to the sky.
The line for the lone food truck swelled.
We've been to dozens of food festivals and Zatarain's was the smoothest, most professionally run one we've been to in a solid coon's age. The lines flowed quickly, the venue was spotless, the volunteers were all smiles and the prices were a pittance.
But hundreds of people would beg to differ as there was lots of cussing and going on from the milieu of later arriving, would-be eaters who were chastened by paying to park in a garage only to be told that Zatarain's had no crawfish for them.
What began as a masterly stroke of promotion and engineering careered badly out of control for Zatarain's.
Judy Walker over at the Times Pic has an interesting perspective http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/2014/05/festival_org